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It’s hard to believe 2013 is already over … we feel like this year just began. But 365 days of art-filled fun have passed us by. This week, we suggest a couple of ways to ring in the new year, from a costume ball to a bike ride to steam whistles to poetry. And after that, it’s back to the galleries and museums. Happy new year, dear readers — here’s to another year of art!
When: Tuesday, December 31, 9 pm–5 am ($60)
Where: Irondale Performing Arts Center (85 S Oxford Street, Fort Greene, Brooklyn)
This party is not for the faint of heart, or the faint of wallet, but if you want to do New Year’s Eve in style, we can’t think of any better way than a Gemini & Scorpio party. The duo are known for their massive themed and costumed extravaganzas, with no shortage of entertainment. The Bootleggers’ Ball promises an orchestra, a DJ, burlesque acts, aerial and sideshow stunts, a magician, and swing-dance lessons. Just make sure you come prepared! The dress code is “depression glamour, evening ball on the Titanic, hobo formal, desperation derring-do. Effort required.”
Festive Bike Ride
When: Tuesday, December 31, 10 pm
Where: Starts at Washington Square Park (Greenwich Village, Manhattan)
If costume balls aren’t really your thing, how about a late-night NYE bike ride? Environmental activist group Time’s Up organizes this annual ride, which begins in Washington Square Park and ends at Belvedere Castle, on 79th Street in Central Park, with a dance party and fireworks. Sure, it’ll be cold, but it’ll also be awesome.
Pratt Steam Whistles
When: Wednesday, January 1, midnight
Where: Pratt Institute (200 Willoughby Ave, Clinton Hill, Brooklyn)
If, on the other hand, you’re looking for something totally different and slightly off-kilter for New Year’s Eve, we suggest you try the Pratt steam whistles. The arts-heavy college “boasts the oldest continuously-operating, privately-owned, steam-powered electrical generating plant in the country,” where Chief Engineer Conrad Milster also maintains a collection of salvaged steam whistles. Milster has been assembling and blowing them on New Year’s Eve for 47 years, and the tradition continues tonight, although apparently next year will be the last iteration. Go while you still can! But get ready: the whistles are an amazing but deafening experience. As Gothamist writes, “What better way to ring in 2014 than with permanent hearing loss?”
When: Wednesday, January 1, 2 pm ($20)
Where: The Poetry Project at St. Mark’s Church (131 E 10th Street, East Village, Manhattan)
After the piercing blasts of the steam whistles, soothe your ears with some poetry. Lots of poetry, actually — hours of it, with over 140 poets. The Poetry Project’s 40th annual marathon benefit reading takes place on New Year’s Day, and it features a pretty incredible line-up, including Anne Waldman, Carolee Schneemann, Eileen Myles, Jonas Mekas, Justin Vivian Bond, Legs McNeil, Lynne Tillman, Patti Smith, Penny Arcade, Philip Glass, and Yvonne Rainer. What better way to ring in 2014 than with creativity (and a good cause)?
Brooklyn Boys Go Bowling
When: Opens Friday, January 3, 6–9 pm
Where: Theodore:Art (56 Bogart Street, Bushwick, Brooklyn)
OK, so the New Year’s festivities are over, and you’ve already had to go back to work for two days. What do you do with the rest of your week? Gallery openings! Happily, a number of Bushwick spaces are opening new shows at the end of the week, including Theodore:Art. Brooklyn Boys Go Bowling features the work of four “idiosyncratic” Brooklyn painters: Michael Callaghan, Steven Charles, Brian Dupont, and Christopher Moss. They’re united by their maleness and their unique takes on abstraction.
Hermine Ford & Joan Witek
When: Opens Friday, January 3, 7–10 pm
Where: Outlet (253 Wilson Ave, Bushwick, Brooklyn)
If you want more abstraction, this time by women, head down the street (ish) to the newly renovated Outlet. The gallery will be opening a show of paintings by Hermine Ford, daughter of Abstract Expressionist Jack Tworkov and an incredibly talented artist herself. Ford’s latest works are paintings that seem to feature scraps and patterned pieces floating together — plays on the digital aesthetic, trompe l’
Forgotten Shanghai Art Studios
When: Friday, January 3, 5–8 pm, film at 7 pm
Where: The Noguchi Museum (9-01 33rd Road, Long Island City, Queens)
Every first Friday of the month, the Noguchi Museum stays open late and lets visitors pay whatever admission they’d like. The museum also shows a film on First Fridays, and this week’s selection sounds particularly intriguing: The Lost Magic of the Shanghai Art Studios. Directed by Marie-Claire Quiquemelle and Julien Gaurichon, it examines the Shanghai Art Studio:
One of the world’s largest animation studios by the end of the 1950’s, on par with Disney, Shanghai Art Studios completed its most complex and acclaimed animation, The Monkey King, just before the 1965 Cultural Revolution effectively halted its productions. Key players recount its boom years and downfall, including the director Te Wei, whose late 1950’s animations were directly inspired by the ink paintings of Qi Baishi.
When: Saturday, January 4, 4 pm
Where: Auxiliary Projects (2 St Nicholas Ave, #25, Bushwick, Brooklyn)
New media conceptual art duo MTAA have taken up residence at Auxiliary Projects, turning the gallery into “a camouflaged quasi-military outpost in an isolated environment.” There are carefully chosen and arranged cultural materials, surveillance, and drinks. On Saturday, there will also be solitaire, as MTAA plays a hand “as a group performance.” We’re not entirely sure what this means, but we’d definitely like to find out.
Every utopia is a social experiment, the artist suggests in this commission for the Performa performance art biennial, and we’re ultimately the guinea pigs.
“You can’t live in a house that’s built upon your back.” This is one of the more memorable phrases spoken by the scripted lovers of Tschabalala Self’s Sounding Board, what Performa describes in its promotional materials as an “experimental play.” That phrase, uttered by one romantic partner to the other, operates as guidance, warning, dictate,…
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